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A central Vietnam village starts ‘jamming’ for Tet

The ginger ‘jam’ made in Hue City`s Kim Long Ward stands out for its authenticity and absence of additives.

With Tet just around the corner, people in Kim Long Ward, Hue City are busy making ginger jam for the holiday. This is the only place in the ancient capital city that retains the profession of making ginger "jam" in the last days of the lunar calendar.

ginger jam, imperial citadel, Hue City, Vietnam traditional food, Tet, New Year holiday, authenticity and absence of additives

The ginger can neither be too old because the final product will not have a smooth texture, nor can it be too young, because it will not have the needed pungency.

The famous Kim Long Ginger Jam in Hue has a distinct spicy flavor. The ginger can neither be too old because the final product will not have a smooth texture, nor can it be too young because it will not have the needed pungency.

First, the ginger is peeled and sliced. A worker soaks thin ginger slices in cold water with squeezed lemon juice for about 30 minutes to clean them. After the slices are cleaned in lemon water, the cooks mix them with white sugar.

ginger jam, imperial citadel, Hue City, Vietnam traditional food, Tet, New Year holiday, authenticity and absence of additives

Currently, the Kim Long Ward has about 20 households making the ginger jam in the most traditional way.

The ginger is then cooked in sugar syrup on wood fires for about an hour until the slices become firmer and the sugar is neatly wrapped around each slice. To make this happen, the mixture has to be continuously stirred with chopsticks, so that it does not get burnt. Outwardly simple, this is a delicate skill best performed by experienced hands.

The ginger jam than proceeds to a tray where it is cooled. Here, too, the jam-maker uses thin bamboo sticks to separate the ginger slices as they can easily stick together when hot.

Nguyen Thi Anh Nguyet, who lives in the same area as this facility, said that every day, the establishment produces about 300 kilograms of ginger jam that are collected by traders. What makes the Kim Long ginger jam special is that every step is done by hand, and it has no other ingredient except ginger and sugar – no additive is used. Regular buyers love the Kim Long ginger jam for its pure spicy-sweet flavor.

ginger jam, imperial citadel, Hue City, Vietnam traditional food, Tet, New Year holiday, authenticity and absence of additives

The ginger ‘jam’ made in Hue City`s Kim Long Ward stands out for its authenticity and absence of additives.

Currently, the Kim Long Ward has about 20 households making the ginger jam in the most traditional way.

Besides serving locals during the Tet holiday, Kim Long ginger jam is also ordered year-round by dealers from cities across central Vietnam and Ho Chi Minh City. Each kilogram of ginger jam is sold for between VND55,000 - 70,000 ($2.38 – 3.3).

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Source: VnExpress

ginger jam, imperial citadel, Hue City, Vietnam traditional food, Tet, New Year holiday, authenticity and absence of additives
 
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